World University Games Days 1 and 2

July 03, 2009, 12:35 a.m. (ET)

The U.S. Summer World University Games Taekwondo team began competition on July 1 and 2, 2009.  Taekwondo was a particularly well-attended sport at these multi-sport games, with 495 athletes from over 70 countries participating in both poomsae and sparring.  These games are the first time that both poomsae and sparring have been included in the same national-team event.  The Games feature 15 sports, with 8995 participants from over 170 countries in attendance.  The team is staying in an athlete village similar to those found in other multi-sport games like the Olympics.

The first two days featured poomsae competition.  The level was very high, with many World Poomsae Championships medalists in attendance.  Johnny Nguyen (Arizona State) and Carissa Fu (Princeton) led off the U.S. team with men's and women's individual respectively.  Although both displayed fine performances, both narrowly missed the cutoff for the semifnals round.

Competition continued on the second day with team and pairs competition.  The men's team of Johnny Nguyen, Anthony Nguyen (Arizona State) and Jason Hwang (Cal State-San Bernardino) featured the strongest performance of the day.  They advanced from the preliminaries to the semifinals with a 6th place performance, then improved to fifth place in the semifinals to make the final 8, where they placed 6th overall.

Mixed pair Alicia Zhou (Harvard) and Bobby Ren (Lake Washington) advanced to the semifinals with an 11th place finish, maintaining that position in the semi-finals but unfortunately missing the cut for the finals.  Still, it was a fine performance for their debut at the World University Games as U.S. team members.

The women's team of Alicia Zhou, Karolina Corin (MIT) and Rebecca Hung also debuted in the Summer World Universtiy Games.  They placed 9th in the preliminaries to advance to the semifinals, where they again placed 9th but just missed the cut for the finals.

The final results were as follows:

Men's Individual

1) Korea
2) Vietnam
3) Egypt
4) Spain

Women's Individual

1) Spain
2) Korea
3) Egypt
3) Italy

Men's Team

1) Korea
2) Vietnam
3) Egypt
3) Iran

Womens' Team

1) Korea
2) China
3) Serbia
3) Mexico

Tomorrow, sparring competition begins, with Johnny Nguyen (finweight, Arizona State) facing China in the first round, Anees Hasnain (finweight, UCLA) facing Korea, Terrence Jennings (featherweight, Northern Va. C.C.) facing Russia in the first round, and Kasey Mallard (feather, Dallas Baptist) receiving a bye in the first round and facing the winner of Brazil and Vietnam in her second match.